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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 24, 2007

'76 Trombones' lead the big parade into Hancher Nov. 13 and 14

The 39th annual Band Extravaganza will feature 76 trombones -- both the famous piece by Meredith Willson and 76 live players -- when the Hawkeye Marching Band and other top bands from the University of Iowa School of Music come to Hancher Auditorium for performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 13 and 14.

One of the UI's most popular musical events, the Band Extravaganza features the Hawkeye Marching Band (HMB), under director Kevin Kastens, as well as the Johnson County Landmark jazz band (JCL), directed by John Rapson; the Jazz Repertory Ensemble (JRE), directed by Brent Sandy; and the Symphony Band, conducted by Myron Welch. The jazz bands will split the two performances, with JCL on Tuesday and JRE on Wednesday. The other bands will perform both evenings.

Over the past 38 years, the annual Band Extravaganza has become one of the UI's most anticipated events. Audiences are drawn from across the state, including high school band members and their directors, former band members, Hawkeye fans and just about anyone who enjoys a rousing concert of band music.

Capping the performance by Welch and the Symphony Band will be a Suite from "The Music Man," Meredith Willson's iconic musical about the meaning of life and music in "River City, Iowa." The suite, like the show, ends with an exuberant performance of the show-stopping "76 Trombones."

"We will start out 'Music Man' Suite with a trombone quartet arrangement of 'Lida Rose,' and segue into '76 Trombones' -- with 76 trombones!" Welch explained. "We will use trombonists from the Symphony Band, Concert Band, University Band, Hawkeye Marching Band, the trombone studio, New Horizons Band, UI alumni, emeritus faculty and local high school students!"

The top concert ensemble in the UI Department of Bands, the Symphony Band performs many of its own full-length concerts during the year, both on and off campus. Welch, who is the UI director of bands, will conduct the Symphony Band in a band arrangement of "Mars" from "The Planets" by Gustav Holst before launching into "The Music Man."

JCL is the UI's ensemble devoted to the performance of original works by the great composers of the big-band jazz repertory. Consisting of the best jazz players at the School of Music, JCL is known for picking up the prizes at jazz festivals and contests around the country.

For the Tuesday performance JCL will play "Snakes" by David Sanborn, "Tutu" by Miles Davis and "Ruskatoonies Macarroonies" by Jonas Kullhammar.

Based on the standard big-band instrumentation, JRE has full sections of reed, brass and rhythm instruments. Made up of students in the UI School of Music, JRE performs works by established jazz masters as well as new works by UI students and other jazz composers.

On Wednesday, JRE will perform "Nasty Dance" by Bob Brookmeyer and "Blue Pepper" by Duke Ellington.

For the hardcore Hawk fans, the HMB is a big attraction, and the Band Extravaganza performances always feature a sea of black-and-old-gold in the audience. This year the band will recap music from the 2007 marching season. Steve Grismore, a member of the School of Music jazz studies faculty, will be featured as guitar soloist playing music from the Santana show presented at Kinnick Stadium Sept. 29.

Maintaining a long-lasting tradition, the band will also feature their new golden girl, Chelsea Russell from Williamsville, N.Y.; the new drum major, Chet Aliga from Wheaton, Ill.; the band's entire drumline; skits by band members; and the traditional UI songs "On Iowa" and Meredith Willson's "Iowa Fight Song."

Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980 and is a Collegiate Fellow in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The past president of the American Bandmasters Association, the Big 10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association, Welch is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands throughout the United States. See

Kastens joined the UI faculty as director of the Hawkeye Marching Band in 1998. He also directs the Concert Band, teaches band arranging and marching band techniques, and is the director of the Iowa Summer Music Camps. He has presented workshops and clinics and appeared as guest conductor throughout the Midwest and Canada. For more, see

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. For more information on Rapson, see

Sandy, who joined the jazz faculty in 2000, is a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn performer, teacher and clinician. Sandy performs regularly with local and regional jazz groups including the OddBar Trio, the Grismore Scea Group and Equilateral. For more, see

Grismore is a co-founder of the Iowa City Jazz Festival. He has performed at clubs and jazz festivals around the country and played with many well-known jazz artists, including Paul Smoker, Charlie Haden, Bobby Shew, Carla Bley and Vinny Golia. He has been a part of many prominent local jazz groups including Oddbar, the Orquestra de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz and the Grismore/Sizemore Band. For more, see

Tickets for reserved seats for the Band Extravaganza are available for $5 from the Hancher Auditorium Box Office. Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered online 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),